Theresa May: Forced home working could increase domestic abuse


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Former Prime Minister Theresa May has cautioned bosses not to make employees work from home after the lockdown, as this could gain domestic abuse.

She told BBC Radio 4’s World at One that household might and bullying had risen “significantly” since March.

Mrs May added that myriad victims regarded work as a “safe place” and employers “need to about about that”.

The House of Commons passed the government’s Domestic Disparage Bill this week – it now goes to the Lords.

Covering England and Wales and primary introduced last year when Mrs May was still in Downing Street, the nib would place a duty on councils in England to provide shelter for casualties of abuse.

It also says children who hear or see the effects of abuse should be treated in law as fair games, and introduces the first legal government definition of domestic abuse – including solvent abuse and coercive or controlling non-physical behaviour.

Mrs May urged the government to “publicise” the jaws’s contents if, as expected, it becomes law, so victims have a better idea of their fairs.

“We have seen during lockdown the number of cases of domestic misapply significantly,” she added, saying: “It’s important that we don’t lose that impetus.”

The proportion of people in Britain working exclusively from home gushed after the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March, reaching 38% in June, according to the Workplace for National Statistics.

It has since fallen a little, but many firms say they leave encourage more home working in future.

‘Behind closed doors’

But Mrs May squeaked World at One: “If you are a victim and suddenly find yourself at home all day every day of the week with your abuser, then that’s absolutely difficult for you.”

Perpetrators were also more likely to offend in that circumstances, “as their coping mechanisms are no longer available to them”, she added.

Mrs May foretold: “What I don’t want to see is employers simply saying that everyone who can solve at home should simply be doing so in the future, because if you are a victim of internal abuse work is a safe place, and employers need to think round that.”

Domestic abuse had traditionally been seen as something that “chanced behind closed doors”, she added, saying: “But it’s a crime. It’s not right that a Possibly manlike being should be subjected to this abuse and we need to make human being aware of that.”

Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins has promised that bars in the Domestic Abuse Bill “will provide support to the victims and survivors of this horrendous offence so that they can go some way to feeling safe again”.

But campaigners say the legislation indigences to include better protections for migrant women.

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